Dabo Sunday teleconference

by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON – Clemson head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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and the coaching staff took part of Sunday afternoon to review the game film of Clemson’s 26-19 win over Auburn Saturday night in the Georgia Dome, and Swinney said he was pleased to come away with a victory, even though the team made critical mistakes.

“I am just really proud of our guys and our staff,” Swinney said. “Great win. The difficulty of the opener itself was a big challenge and then two new coordinators. I thought the staff did a great job of making adjustments as the game went. We got some things cleaned up. Just proud of our team and our coaches for gutting it out. There was great poise. We certainly made enough mistakes. We hung in there and kept playing. As we move into this week, we have a big challenge ahead. We're just turning the page to Ball State. They put up a bunch of offense last week. We'll turn the page tomorrow afternoon with the players.”

The good news is that Tigers exit week one in good shape on the injury front.

"Injury-wise, we're in good shape. Giff [Timothy] checked out OK,” he said. “Everyone should be at practice and ready to go. Andre EllingtonAndre Ellington
RS Sr. Running Back
#23 5-10, 195
Moncks Corner, SC

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was the player of the game for the offense. He played a tremendous game, as did our offensive line. Andre was special. Defensively, Stephone AnthonyStephone Anthony
So. Linebacker
#12 6-3, 235
Polkton, NC

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was the player of the game. Our special teams player of the game was [Chandler] Catanzaro , who hit four big field goals. Really proud of the job he did.”

On importance of winning a high-profile first game.

“Huge. Those games are great when you win them. It's not often that you play those types of games as your openers. You saw a few this weekend, but most teams played opponents they should beat and they got to play a lot of guys. Certainly that wasn't the case for us. When you get challenged like that out of the gate and your guys are able to respond, especially with so many unknowns, I can't say enough good things about our team and our staff."

On the defense

"I thought they held tough, only giving up one touchdown. We won the two-minute and created some turnovers. We gave up some chunk yards along the way. We rallied and got stops. That gave us a chance to overcome some mistakes. We fought hard. We were kind of our own worst enemy at times. A lot of things we can coach off of. We prepared for a lot of counter. They didn't run that at all. They were much more of an outside, stretch type of team. We really played very clean defensively in the fourth quarter. We got better as we went. I thought we were fresh and played hard. We had several step up."

On beating an SEC opponent

It's great, but only as long as we can go on and have a great year, hopefully it'll mean something. But it was just one game, one night. We were just the better team last night. When the end of the year comes around, maybe we can bring some national recognition to the ACC. We're a long way away from that right now. It's really good that we did win it. It doesn't mean anything if we lay an egg this week."

On Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Jr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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’s performance

"It was just a great game and he had some last year. His ability to make plays with his legs last night was a key. He certainly responded in a big way. He still had some mistakes and we'll challenge him again this week. There were some pre-snap stuff he's got to clean up. He had some drops on the other end as well. His ability to find the rush lanes was key. Just a good start for him."

On the offensive line in the 4th quarter

“It was tremendous. You rush the ball for 320 yards against a very good football team in a tough environment, a well-coached team. We've got three new starters and one playing on the line for the first time in his life. They went the distance and they felt confident. They weren't perfect. I really felt like they responded well. They took the game over in the fourth quarter. We had two long drives to seal the deal. It really wasn't anything fancy. Those guys, they made it happen. Tajh had four sacks but two were on him. The other two were on communication things. Hopefully we can play a few more guys and develop some more depth."

On Travis BlanksTravis Blanks
Fr. Defensive Back
#11 6-1, 190
Tallahassee, FL

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and D.J. ReaderD.J. Reader
Fr. Defensive Tackle
#48 6-3, 335
Greensboro, NC

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"Very solid. Big stage for two rookies to go in there. Both are very mature and they responded well. I look forward to them coming along. They're going to be fine players for us this year."

On if DC Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers
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was still a caged animal after the game

"It was great. All our defensive coaches did a great job. After the game, it was great to be able to celebrate that first win with Brent. I know it was a big game for him. I'm proud of his defense. But again, we're far from satisfied. We have a lot of work to do to get better as a team."

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